Many young people in Britain are given the advice to purchase a home as an investment, unlike in the rest of Europe where it is more common to rent long term. The current housing crisis however, is a cause for concern amongst financial institutions and potential home owners. Affordable housing is difficult to find for first time buyers.
This is where a good agent comes in – they know the market inside out, and if they are worth their commission they will steer you clear of bad investments and help you make an informed decision. Browsing directories such as London Estate Agent helps you find recommended agents with good reputations.
If you are looking at London property from overseas, be aware that unlike other markets (United States, for example) you may be asked to make a bid, and you may be outbid at any time until the contract is signed. Your agent can make sure all of the papers are drawn up legally and correctly, and inform you of any taxes you must pay – such as Stamp Tax, which in the UK is 4% of the purchase price. Most lenders will include this in your mortgage.
In order to facilitate your house buying, many financial institutions will offer interest-only mortgage options. This means you will in effect only ever pay off interest and never touch the capital of your loan. It can be seen as a long term rent, however with the security of knowing that you may be able to sell the house at more than you bought it for and make a profit.
When dealing with the buyer, a seller’s agent must take reasonable care, deal honestly and in good faith and disclose all facts. UK law requires licensees, acting as agents of buyers or sellers to advise potential property buyers and sellers, the nature of the relationship, for whom they work and consequently their rights and duties. Make sure your agent has your interests at heart, and is genuinely working to get you the best deal.
The Internet has changed the London real estate scene and continues to progress at a swift pace to meet customer demands. Today’s customers want greater control over buying, selling or financing a home, and in many cases agents are no longer contracted. We propose a compromise – search your dream home on the Internet, and then find the agent who represents the seller. The peace of mind of knowing that your finances are in good hands, can be worth gold.